All homes need energy in order to supply power for lights, electronics, appliances and other tools. It seems like energy costs are always on the rise, so, as a homeowner, if you want to find ways to reduce your energy bill and perhaps generate some of your own electricity, you have options. Renewable energy can be produced at home without having to add fuel of any kind. It is renewable because its source provides the power generation for free–continually. You just have to find a way to harness it. Among the quickest and least expensive home power generating stations you can build are solar panels and wind turbines. Of course, both will be at a smaller scale suitable for your home, but you can nevertheless incorporate your design into your home’s energy infrastructure and decrease your energy costs.
Home Solar Panels
More and more people are compiling the materials, learning the process and making solar panels for their homes. It won’t let you get completely off the grid, but it will reduce your power bill. There is even a way to capture and store solar energy in batteries. If you combine new components with secondhand and even salvaged materials, you can make a solar panel for as little as $100. It will take some time and effort, and one panel will produce little more than a few volts, but it is a start. When linked in a circuit, several solar panels can cut into your power bill considerably.
Solar Water Heater
A good, inexpensive way to reduce electricity costs associated with the heating of water for showers, sinks and washing machines is to install a solar water heater. Like solar panels, a solar water heater captures the heat of the sun, but it does not use it to create electricity. Rather, it involves a direct process of heating stored water. By some estimates, it can reduce the cost of heating water by 50-80%. That kind of savings over a whole year is remarkable. The cost of purchase and installation of a solar water heating system, much like a regular water heater, is not inexpensive if you purchase it new. However, you can piece it together and save yourself a lot of money. As an alternative, consider the placement of a second, smaller tank by your water heater that stores water at room temperature. The water heater then does not have to expend as much energy to heat it as it would with cold water.
Another option for relatively inexpensive sources of alternative energy is a home wind turbine. Again, there is a fair amount of knowledge and preparation involved with this undertaking, but once you have an understanding, you can compile all types of materials to build it. Like solar panels at home, you probably won’t get off the grid entirely, but your homemade wind power generator will reduce your monthly bill.
Although it’s not electricity, water is energy. Water that falls from the sky and is stored in rain barrels you set up should be considered renewable energy, for you harness it for free. Use this water for landscaping needs. You can even set up a system of harnessing water to use for washing clothes and doing dishes. Doing so will cut down tremendously on your water bill.
There are a number of fast and relatively cheap methods for harnessing renewable energy in your home. They require a little specialized knowledge, but it is nothing that cannot be learned and implemented on your own. Reduce your energy costs by augmenting the power you get from the grid–or the water you get from the water system–with homemade renewable energy.